Martin on Cnicht

Martin on Cnicht

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Tuesday 13 August 2013 - Pyrenees GR10 - Day 60 - Stage 49 - Las Illas to Col de l'Oullat

Distance: 25 km (Cum: 928 km)     

Ascent: 1020 metres (Cum: 51,500 metres)
                     
Time taken: 7.0 hrs including 1.5 hrs stops                                     

Weather: sunny but with cloud and storm building over Canigou

Heikel and Anna-Marie joined me for breakfast and I encountered them for periods on today's amble, including lunch on a bench in the dreadful 'tax free' border village of Le Perthus. What qualifications it has to be 'tax free' I don't know, but that status certainly seems to attract swarms of shoppers. 

Hostal dels Trabucayres (pictured-top) is a bit of a blast from the past. No en-suites, no TVs, no Internet. Just a few rooms with balconies, above a restaurant. Lovely original panelling,  separate shower and toilet - just one of each for all the rooms. If this was in the Basque country it would be full of diners every night. 

The route to Le Perthus was much as I remember it from nine years ago. Pleasant tracks undulating past beehives, mainly on the French side of the border, then through an area of cork trees that continued for most of the day. 

"Heat will be a problem." The wise men had assured us. It was over 30°C, but a cool breeze made conditions quite pleasant today. 

The conditions were probably appreciated by certain unseen people as well.  We encountered a 'no camping' 'dogs on leads' 'naked people' area. It was definitely not a 'no naked people' sign, but there were no naturists on our path today. 

Before Le Perthus I yet again passed Fort de Bellegarde without visiting it. I suspect it is very similar to the forts in the Maritime Alps with which we are familiar. 

Typical woodland from today is also pictured. This continued beyond Le Perthus, when to my delight I found the route that we took nine years ago to have been superseded by a much better path. Instead of following the road through St-Martin-de-l'Albère to the col, GR10 now takes paths along the border, skirting the village and all the water points mentioned in our guide book. It's an excellent route, and not too steep. I met a heavily tattooed couple on the way down. They had a cat and a dog on leads. The tiny cat looked absolutely terrified. What ordeals some people put their pets through! 

I reached the gite before 3.30pm and have spent a pleasant afternoon here, watching the storm over Canigou and socialising with my fellow travellers. The 'other couple' are also here. They are indeed 'Tour Aventure' and have a separate private room. The rest of us are in a large dormitory. 

Sent from our GR10 trip - the penultimate day of walking - doesn't it go quickly! 

3 comments:

John J said...

That Hostal looks wonderful!
JJ

Anonymous said...

and wednesday : nothing ?? !
or ...dream swimming in the blue and fresh Méditerranée ?????????
xxx
Chantal

Phreerunner said...

I went for a paddle anyway, Chantal. And you would approve of the reason for the delay. Full posting when I have time tomorrow.
Sorry to keep you in suspense!